Get Over Your First Impressions

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Storm Over Napa Valley, California

Storm Over Napa Valley, California

My first impressions of Napa Valley was not a particularly strong one. I first visited ten years ago thinking it would be full of quiet vineyards “out in the country”. That could not be any further from the truth. Napa Valley is super popular. There’s lots of traffic and tourists. It’s hard to get away from it all. It’s a chaotic place.

I gave Napa Valley another chance in late 2012 when I took Samantha here during the week that I proposed to her. We had a great time exploring Oxbow Public Market in Napa, wine tasting at Beringer Vineyards, visiting CIA at Greystone and exploring Main Street in St. Helena. For the first time I started to get Napa Valley.

Since moving back to the Bay Area in 2013, I’ve photographed a Backroads Wine Country Bike Tour and visited a number of times both as a tourist and as a photographer. I’ve fallen hard for Wine Country. Now Napa Valley and Sonoma County are among my favorite places in the Bay Area.

On a side note, thanks to Sean Bagshaw for providing me a copy of his newly updated Extended Dynamic Range video tutorial set. There are 36 video chapters and I’ve made my way through about 40% of it so far. It’s hard to imagine going back to just using global levels and curve adjustments in Photoshop after using Tony Kuyper’s Luminosity Masks for the past few years and now learning about how Sean integrates the masks into his workflow. Thanks guys!

See more of my California Wine Country photos.


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